Practice Areas

Community Associations

Condominium and Co-op Law

Cooke & Santomauro's attorneys have over twenty-five years’ experience in representing cooperative apartment corporations and condominium associations throughout New Jersey, including high-rise, mid-rise, townhouse and garden apartment style communities. They provide legal counsel to the officers and directors as well as the managing agents on the operation of the Association.

Our attorneys provide community association clients with personal attention to assist the associations in various legal aspects unique to community associations:

  • Assist the Board and Management Prepare for and Conduct Meetings

  • Collecting Delinquent Assessments

  • Maintaining Fair Housing Compliance

  • Drafting of Community Rules and Policies

  • Negotiating and Drafting of All Contracts

  • Providing Guidance on the Interpretation and Enforcement of Governing Documents.

  • Drafting Amendments to the Association's Governing Documents

  • Tax Appeals

  • Providing Advice Concerning Requests for Reasonable Accommodations for Disabled Residents.

  • Foreclosure of Assessment Liens

  • Rent Receivership

  • Prosecuting and Defending All Litigations

  • Securing Reimbursement Pursuant to Municipal Services Act

  • Providing Legal Guidance based upon Pertinent Law

  • Presiding Over Mediation and ADR Proceedings

  • Attending Monthly Meetings

  • Assist in Organization and Running of Annual Meetings

  • Negotiating and Pursuing Insurance Claims.​

Civil Litigation

Business and Property Disputes, Transactional Matters, Employment Litigation, Chancery Court Litigation, etc.

Cooke & Santomauro, P.C. are highly qualified and experienced litigators.  We represent corporations, limited liability companies, partnerships and individuals.  Our law firm handles all types of general civil litigation and commercial litigation. This includes breach of contract disputes, partnership disputes, shareholder disputes, employment lawsuits, emergent applications, fraudulent conveyances, real estate litigation, construction litigation and personal injury. Collectively, our civil litigation lawyers have over 70 years’ experience navigating the New Jersey Court system. From day one, our attorneys work closely with our clients to develop and implement a strategic litigation plan, establish goals and expectations, striving to achieve our clients’ objectives by utilizing a proactive approach.  We develop and implement successful litigation strategies to achieve our clients’ desired objectives.

 

The types of disputes that Cooke & Santomauro regularly handle include:

  • Breach of contract actions

  • Closely held business disputes

  • Employment litigation

  • Chancery Court litigation

  • Construction lien foreclosures

  • Debt collection

  • Landlord/tenant evictions

  • Fraudulent asset transfers

  • Orders to show cause/emergent relief

  • Partnership disputes

  • Real estate litigation

  • Restrictive covenants

  • Shareholder disputes

 

Our New Jersey business litigation attorneys regularly appear before New Jersey state and federal courts.  Often, state court litigation spills over into bankruptcy court when a defendant attempts to invoke the bankruptcy automatic stay to delay the trial or continuation of state court cases.  Our law firm’s experience in such matters enables us to be an effective advocate for clients who require assistance navigating the complexity of bankruptcy proceedings.

Family Law

Divorce, Custody, Alimony, Child Support, Equitable Distribution, Pre-Marital Agreements

Cooke & Santomauro's attorneys have over 30 years’ experience in the representation of individuals in family law related matters throughout Northern  New Jersey, including Bergen, Passaic, Essex, Hudson, Union and Morris Counties.  This includes the litigation of contested divorce matters and the handling of uncontested divorce matters. Such representation involves all aspects of family law disputes including:

  • Child Custody

  • Parenting Time

  • Child Support

  • Spousal Support

  • Equitable Distribution of Property.

  • Domestic Violence

  • Relocation Issues

  • Grandparent Visitation

  • Adoption

  • Post-Judgment Family Matters

Our firm also has extensive experience in the drafting of Premarital Agreements, Separation Agreements and Property Settlement Agreements.

Our attorneys are well known in the legal community as possessing strong skills in mediation and negotiation and, when necessary, litigation.

Trusts, Wills & Probate 

Wills, Power of Attorney, Medical Directives, Estate Probate 

It is extremely important that our clients make arrangements for their assets and future medical decisions in the event that something tragic occurs. Cooke & Santomauro, P.C. can satisfy all of your estate planning requirements, including drafting a Last Will and Testament,Trust documents, Powers of Attorney and Medical Directives, among others. Cooke & Santomauro, P.C.'s attorneys will meet with you and patiently explain your legal rights and options and work with you closely to determine the solution that is best for you and your family. 

Municipal Court

Moving Violations and Driving While Intoxicated

Both Kevin P. Cooke and Cynthia D. Santomauro are former municipal prosecutors and bring this wealth of knowledge and experience in their representation of clients in municipal courts throughout the State of New Jersey. 

Cooke & Santomauro will bring clarity to a sometimes complex and confusing process. All of your options will be discussed with you to make certain that you have a complete understanding of the potential consequences which may arise as a result of a conviction in Municipal Court.

Cooke & Santomauro will fight to protect your rights and to minimize potential fines and penalties.

Personal Inury

Auto Accidents, Slip and Falls, and Medical Malpractice

If you have been injured due to the negligence of another party, you have the legal right to file a personal injury lawsuit.  Cooke & Santomauro, P.C. fights to obtain for our injured clients compensation for medical bills, pain and suffering, lost wages and other expenses arising from the accident.

 

Cooke & Santomauro, P.C. has negotiated substantial settlements for our injured clients and their families throughout the State of New Jersey.  Some of the types of personal injury cases that we handle include the following:

  • Auto accidents

  • Premises liability

  • Slip and falls

  • Medical malpractice

  • Product liability

  • Dog bites

  • Motorcycle accidents

Buying & Selling Homes

Purchase, Sale, Refinance

Purchasing or selling a home may be one of the most significant legal transactions an individual will experience in a lifetime. The process can be exciting but also complicated. The best investment you can make is selecting a highly skilled real estate attorney to represent you.

Cooke & Santomauro offers skilled advocacy to buyers and sellers in residential and commercial real estate law. Our attorneys have more than 70 years of combined experience representing real estate clients throughout the state of New Jersey. We provide the sophisticated assistance of larger firms with the personal attention only a small office can offer. 

We are available to handle all aspects of residential real estate including selling or purchasing single-family homes, townhouses, condominiums and co-operatives. Our dedication to offering detailed and efficient representation sets Cooke & Santomauro apart from other law firms. 

Landlord Tenant

Negotiation, Lease Drafting, Eviction Proceedings.

Cooke & Santomauro, P.C. represents landlords and tenants in a variety of legal matters related to the enforcement of residential, commercial and industrial real estate leases, including prosecuting and defending eviction proceedings in the Superior Court of New Jersey, Landlord/Tenant Part and other all matters involving leases which require litigation.

Our attorneys assist landlords in prosecuting cases based on various types of breach of lease claims, including non-payment of rent.  Whether you are a residential or commercial landlord, our attorneys can represent you or your company in eviction actions involving non-payment of rent, holdovers or other lease issues.  This area of law can be complex and having an experiences lawyer is critical to ensuring that the eviction process goes as smoothly and quickly as possible and that any and all required notices are sent in a timely fashion.

 

Our New Jersey landlord/tenant practice extends statewide, and includes prosecution and defense of countless cases filed in the Superior Court of New Jersey in Bergen, Essex,  Hudson, Passaic, Morris, Middlesex and Union Counties.  

Business & Corporate Law

Start-up Companies, Loan Transactions, Corporate Governance Agreements, Contracts, etc.

Whether you’re looking to start a new business, sell an existing business or become a shareholder or partner in an existing company, Cooke & Santomauro, P.C. has the expertise to give you the proper counseling and advice.  We counsel small to mid-sized businesses and individuals in a variety of corporate and commercial transactions.

  • Start-up companies: The formation, organization, ownership, control and dissolution of New Jersey corporations, limited liability companies, Sub-Chapter S corporations, partnerships, and joint ventures.

  • Loan Transactions: Representation of borrowers in commercial lending transactions.  

  • Corporate Governance Agreements: Preparation of shareholder and operating agreements.

  • Contracts: Negotiation of contracts and agreements with vendors, suppliers, licensees, distributors, and other related entities.  

  • Employment Agreements: Negotiation of employment agreements, including restrictive covenant agreements and preparation of severance agreements.  

  • Sales and Mergers: Representations of the parties in sales, acquisitions, and other commercial transactions.  

  • Corporate governance, management and control, including in connection with family run companies and close-corporations.  

  • Providing advice to majority and minority owners, partners, member, employees and other business participants, and dispute resolution among business owners.  

  • Creditor Representation: Representation of creditors in bankruptcy and other contexts.  

  • Litigation Disputes: Litigation of business disputes including injunctive or emergent relief, minority/oppressed shareholder litigation, and closely held business disputes.

 

Our business and practical-driven approach is designed to enable us to respond quickly and efficiently to our clients’ needs and challenges.  Our experienced lawyers are intimately involved from start to finish. These advantages have driven our law firm’s success in attracting new clients and sustaining long relationships with existing clients.  

Construction Litigation

Debt Collection, Breach of Contract/Warranty, Negligence and Fraud

Cooke & Santomauro, P.C. represents contractors, subcontractors, residential and commercial property owners, condominium and homeowner associations, and material and equipment suppliers in connection with construction-related litigation disputes in the Superior Court of New Jersey, and in commercial arbitration and mediation proceedings.  

 

Representing clients throughout New Jersey, our construction litigation practice includes:

  • Debt collection – payments due to contractors, subcontractors and suppliers

  • Construction debts/defective work

  • Consumer Fraud Act claims

  • Breach of contract

  • Breach of warranty

  • Construction delays

  • Faulty workmanship

  • Fraud

  • Negligence

 

Cooke & Santomauro, P.C. can also help you minimize or avoid construction litigation to the extent possible by carefully drafting construction contracts or by reviewing existing contracts for potential issues.  

Debt Collection

Promissory Note Lawsuits, Rent Collection Actions After Eviction, Construction Lien Enforcement and Foreclosure, etc.

Cooke & Santomauro, P.C.’s debt collection attorneys represent businesses and individuals in the collection of unpaid debts.  Our law firm also handles proceedings to enforce judgments in New Jersey.

Beginning with state court litigation and continuing through bankruptcy proceedings, our debt collection lawyers have successfully protected our clients’ interests as creditors in bankruptcy proceedings.  This includes protecting landlord’s rights in Chapter 11 cases, applications to lift the automatic stay and preserving claims as being non-dischargeable in bankruptcy.

Our collection attorneys handle:

  • Promissory note lawsuits

  • Commercial accounts receivable

  • Rent collection actions after eviction

  • Creditor representations in bankruptcy proceedings

  • Bankruptcy preference actions on behalf of creditors

  • Construction lien enforcement 

  • Fraudulent conveyance of real estate and other assets

  • Judgment collection

  • Judgment enforcement in NJ of judgments entered in other states

Real Estate

Real Estate Transactions and Financing, Litigation, Easement Disputes and Title Issues

Cooke & Santomauro, P.C.’s attorneys collectively have over 70 years of experience in real estate law.  Our New Jersey real estate practice includes:

  • Real estate litigation – breach of contract disputes over contract deposits, fraud, property damage

  • Disputes over easements

  • Landlord/Tenant – prosecuting and defending eviction actions

  • Residential real estate closings – purchases and sales

  • Refinancing transactions and home equity loans

  • Commercial and industrial real estate transactions

  • Representing purchasers at sheriff sales

  • Loan modifications and forbearance agreements on behalf of borrowers

  • Title issues

 

For some individuals, a real estate purchase or sale including financing of the same may be one of the most significant transactions in their lifetime. Thus, it is critical to have an experienced real estate attorney review your contract or mortgage commitment to ensure that your rights are protected.  Our New Jersey real estate lawyers have an extensive background in real estate transactions and litigation, and we leverage that experience for the benefit of our clients when reviewing real estate contracts. We view every real estate transaction with an eye toward potential litigation and thus work to negotiate a contract that is designed to protect our client’s rights in the event certain circumstances arise either before, during or after the closing.  

COOKE & SANTOMAURO, PC